After the best ever Olympics in the history of Colombia, the South American country is preparing for the 2012 Paralympics held later this month in London.
Colombia’s First Lady, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez de Santos, announced Wednesday at the official presentation of the Paralympic Committee that she would be accompanying the delegation to London for the games.
“I feel very happy to be here today and more excited still to be able to tell you that I will be with you all in London, in the inauguration of the Games next August 29,” said Rodriguez de Santos as she expressed her pride in Colombia.
The First Lady also passed on the words of President Juan Manuel Santos who sent, “a message of support to the courageous, competitive and perseverent spirit that accompanies the athletes, holding high the name of Colombia.”
The athletes will begin their travels next Tuesday August 21 to compete in the Paralympics from August 31 to September 9 in athleticism, basketball, cycling, swimming, judo, weights, and tennis. The delegation has grown to a representation of 39 athletes, compared to the 12 Colombians that competed in the 2008 games.
“Four years ago, we brought home a silver medal and a bronze medal, and now we say it’s our time for London. We should at least bring home the same amount of medals, if not more,” said Juan Pablo Salazar, head of the Colombian mission for the London Paralympics 2012.
“The message of the paralympic movement is inclusion, we have to construct worlds where it’s possible for every person, without importance of disabilities and for us, as Colombians, this is the high performance sport that looks for results and great achievements,” said Salazar.
The First Lady also addressed the athletes saying that, “every force made and every medal won, is the triumph of a whole country. […] The athletes have converted themselves more every time into our inspiration and our example.”